Rep. Morales helps secure $3 million investment

for the Rhode Island Community Food Bank


STATE HOUSE – Rep. David Morales is applauding the FY24 state budget for appropriating $3 million in funding to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. During the legislative session, he introduced a resolution (2023-H 6124) citing the food bank’s need for additional resources and advocated for this support during the budget process.

“The Rhode Island Community Food Bank is a vital resource for struggling families and seniors across our state. I am eternally grateful for their continued and dedicated efforts,” said Representative Morales (D-Dist. 7, Providence). “With the rising cost of food combined with reduced SNAP benefits, now more than ever, thousands of our neighbors are facing hunger and food insecurity. This is why it was so important for us to urgently act and provide further support to our local food pantries who are feeding some of our most vulnerable daily. I appreciate Speaker Shekarchi and my colleagues in government for their partnership throughout the budget process. I’m proud that we were able to come together to deliver this needed resource for our seniors, youth and working families, because no one in our state should ever go hungry.”

SNAP refers to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly called food stamps. SNAP benefits had been increased during the COVID-19 pandemic but were reduced in March, just as inflation was leaving many families struggling to pay the bills. The recent deal in Washington to raise avoid defaulting on the federal debt included some further cuts to SNAP.

The Rhode Island Community Food Bank works with member agencies to serve meals to the needy at over 140 sites around the state. The network has found that food insecurity is over three times what it was prior to the pandemic.

“Demand for food assistance has surged across the state following the reduction in emergency SNAP benefits which impacted over 80,000 Rhode Island households. The number of people served at our food pantries and meal sites has climbed from 66,000 in February 2023 to 79,000 in March 2023, a 20 percent increase,” said Andrew Schiff, president of the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. “To meet this high need, the Food Bank expects to distribute a record 16 million pounds of food this year. So, while the current situation is dire, our dedicated member agencies, staff and volunteers are working hard to supply our agencies with healthy, culturally relevant foods and meet the need in our communities. We’re tremendously grateful to Representative Morales for his advocacy along with house leadership as this funding will mean thousands of fewer empty bellies across Rhode Island.”